Hardcore Justice. Destination X. No Surrender. TNA has pulled a fast one, folks. I couldn't have guessed they would take yet another old suggestion of mine and put it into practice....with a spin, of course. Near the first hundred column mark, I made a suggestion for TNA to drop HALF of their PPV's and go to TV specials to fill the empty space. They took the idea a step further and cut 8 PPVs and putting them into themed PPV taped specials AND put together a free PPV event on Spike as a way to give the show some more hype. How can I complain?
I LOVE the tactic, TNA, but the numbers, as consistently reasonable as they are, still aren't anywhere near what they need to be to qualify as a legitimate threat to the McMahon empire....not that I care. That ship has been sailing for quite some time now. In any case, when fans become flooded by WWE TV, it'll all begin to seep in....Vince has no idea where the STOP lever is. We USED to have 6 or so hours of WWE television to watch. Now you have Smackdown!, RAW, NXT, A.M. RAW, Saturday Slam, Main Event, PPV every month AND a Divas reality show, clocking the final total at a staggering 43 hours of first run WWE programming.....and THAT ISN'T including Webisodes of Backstage Fallout and the other web series on their YouTube channel and website. What is the point? Oversaturation.
Even the most dedicated of WWE fans has a limit to the amount of programming they will willingly ingest before they decide enough is enough. WWE is beginning to push the envelope once again. Good.....it's about time. The biggest problem with the product, though, is that there simply aren't enough main event players to carry the brand long term. Now that John Cena is out for a while, we may start to see some variety in the top tier line-up, but it is NOWHERE the size of what it once was even in the slowdown period 2002-2008. Yeah, I was a HUGE WWE fan back then. I went to the events, did everything I could to hit the PPVs at a local sports bar, and even forked out some money on the merch. There came a time, though, when it became too much and when WWE made the decision to go PG, it was over for me and I never looked back.
TNA's decision to take things in a different direction comes with promise as it is mildly reminiscent of WCW's Clash of the Champions events of the late 80's and early 90's. Could TNA garner more support with another show? A move to a different night? A more inclusive network package? A few more former WWE recruits to round out their roster? Perhaps, but what is more likely is that the support will have to come from enough fans branching out and pulling WWE fans out of their comfort zone to events or the challenge to step into a new product.